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FedEx indictment shouldn't hurt shares, pro says

FedEx's indictment for shipping packages from illegal online pharmacies apparently isn't hurting the company's shares, which makes sense to Citigroup transportation analyst Christian Wetherbee.

The 15-count indictment, handed down Thursday, includes charges for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. FedEx allegedly gained at least $830 million from the conspiracy.

"The market kind of looks through some of this, focuses really on what the important drivers of FedEx will be over the course of the next 12 to 18 months and that's really about the fundamental earnings power of the company and the improvements it's making as an express division right now," Wetherbee said in an interview with CNBC's "Street Signs."

Read More FedEx faces US criminal charges over online pharmacies

A FedEx logo on a delivery truck
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A FedEx logo on a delivery truck

Another factor is the fact that UPS settled a case with the Justice Department last year, forfeiting $40 million it earned from illegal online pharmacy shipments.

"The $820 million of revenue potential from these online pharmacies and the potential for $1.6 billion in damages seems awfully high relative to what one of its competitors has already settled for," Wetherbee noted.

Read MoreFedEx's fourth-quarter profit jumps

FedEx Senior Vice President Patrick Fitzgerald has said the company is innocent and will plead not guilty.

Wetherbee is taking a wait-and-see approach to observe how this plays out, noting that the public does not yet know all of the details of the case. However, he said the company apparently wants to vigorously defend itself and appears to feel like it has a pretty strong case.

"FedEx has had a very strong track record of litigation with the government, so they've gone to court twice with the IRS and won both times," Wetherbee said. "So I think that's something important to keep in mind."

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. Reuters contributed to this report.

Dislcosure: Citi owns UPS and FedEx. UPS and FedEx are investment banking clients of Citi.

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